Measure D: Important Election Facts

By |April 5th, 2018|Categories: Sierra Madre Edition - April 2018|Tags: |

Measure D: Important Election Facts Sierra Madre officials claim that if passed, Measure D would force the City to cut critical municipal services, going so far as to consider shutting the city down if  the $2.6 million tax is repealed. It is our opinion that the City requires this tax to keep up with out of control spending. According to the City’s audited financial statements, since 2006 General Fund revenues have risen 82% while expenditures swelled a whopping 89%. Even with massive revenue gains, spending continues to outpace income. In the Mountain Views News (3/17/18), Mayor Rachelle Arizmendi is quoted as stating that “This City Council has worked hard to keep our police and fire services here in Sierra Madre while still maintaining a balanced budget.” Balanced budget? The City’s silence on the $10 to $40 million pension debt and where it came from is deafening. Retired city employees can earn up to 90% of their salaries for the rest of their lives, plus uncapped lifetime medical benefits for themselves and their spouse.1 CalPERS grossly over-estimates the investment returns to generate enough funds to cover lifetime retirement payments. CalPERS bases their calculations on a 7% rate of return, but the ten-year average is closer to 3.5%. Sierra Madre’s Pension Debt CalPERS 2015 estimate: $10.7 million Stanford Inst. 2015 estimate: $40.4 million For example, Sierra Madre’s former Library Services Director retired in 2011 and as of 2017 was being paid an annual pension of $100,639. A retirement lasting 20 years would add up to a grand total of over $2 million. 1Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at PensionTracker.org

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